View 831 Monday, June 30, 2014


Christians to Beirut. Alawites to the grave.

Syrian Freedom Fighters


“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009




Very interesting article which portends that direct Persian incursions into Iraq (IMO the worst thing that can happen in the ME) are unlikely. Despite having a reputation for power projection, the Persians seem to be quite shallow in military/economic influence.

David Couvillon

Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired.; Former Governor of Wasit Province, Iraq; Righter of Wrongs; Wrong most of the time; Distinguished Expert, TV remote control; Chef de Hot Dog Excellance; Avoider of Yard Work

The history of Persian influence over the various Muslim empires has always been mixed: after the conquest and conversion of Persia by the Muslim Arabs, the vast riches of the Empire changed the nature of many of the Muslim peoples, and there is still a tradition that the Bedouin clans are the only pure Muslims. Persia added a great deal of culture and educated sophistication to the Muslim society.

That history is  not yet complete. Persia is now the chief center of Shiite population and power.

The Islamic Republic of Iran today is being confronted by existential attacks on its alliance system, the axis of resistance, on two fronts: first Syria, and now Iraq. While it has largely contained the Syrian civil war—having reversed the tide in favor of Bashar al Assad’s regime after three years of sustained military, political, and economic support—the crumbling of the Iraqi state and the possibility of a Sunni resurgence has elites in Iran alarmed.

Iran is now in the uncomfortable position of planning to stage a military intervention in Iraq, one that is likely to follow a pattern that has emerged since 1979.

The article and analysis are worth reading.The article and analysis are worth reading. The Middle East is not easily comprehended, and often when you think you understand what’s going on, you find that you do not. I oppose the first Iraq intervention under GHW Bush, as well as the conquest of Iraq by his son George W Bush. We destroyed the Baathist state and Saddam, and did Iraq the favor of having to throw out his rapacious sons; but whether we did Iraq a favor by doing that is debatable.

Persians know how to build competent empires; but it is not clear that the current rulers of Persia have studied the right texts. We shall see.




Deb Houdek Rule on PBS History Detectives Tonight

Tonight’s the night for the PBS History Detectives season premiere show on Civil War sabotage!

I was interviewed several times for this episode in Memphis and New York. I haven’t seen the final show yet, so I’m excited (and nervous) to see how I did, and how much of my interviews they included. It’s on 9pm ET/8pm CT on your PBS station.

My book, Sultana: A Case for Sabotage, which includes much more research on the Confederate Boatburners, and the St. Louis connection to the destruction of the Sultana, is in print and eBook on Amazon. I also hope people will stop by my website at to read more.


D. H. Rule / Deb Houdek Rule

Author of Sultana: A Case For Sabotage <>






Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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